Luke Livingstone is a lucky man. He's a respected solicitor, a father and grandfather, a pillar of the community. He has a loving wife and an idyllic home in the Oxfordshire countryside. Yet Luke is struggling with an unbearable secret, and it's threatening to destroy him.
All his life, Luke has hidden the truth about himself and his identity. It's a truth so fundamental that it will shatter his family, rock his community and leave him outcast. But Luke has nowhere left to run, and to continue living, he must become the person - the woman - he knows himself to be, whatever the cost.
- If you could work with any other author, who would it be and why?
Bill Bryson, because he’s a brilliant man who makes me laugh so much I can’t breathe. The coffee breaks would be hilarious.
- What would be a typical working day for you? When and where do you write?
Recently I’ve taken to writing in the local public library, which is quiet – but not too quiet – and where I have no Internet access there so can’t be distracted. I try to start early but I have a family so in practice a good day would be from about 10 am to 5.30 when the library closes. If I’m under pressure I generally work until the early hours of the morning as well. I often work seven days a week but I do take days off sometimes!
- What is the hardest part of the writing for you?
Writing a novel is a long, long haul. I love the process but the hardest part is putting one word in front of the other, day after day, week after week … it doesn’t matter how I feel, the book has to come first. There’s no time for writers’ block!
- When and why did you first start writing.
I can’t remember not writing; but one day when I was about seven I was sitting on the floor in York Minster, writing a poem about the Rose Window. A kind nun came and asked what I was doing. When I showed her, she had my little poem published in the Minster magazine – so I think that was my first published work! I am sure the poem was truly terrible. Luckily it is now lost.
- How did you come up with the idea for your book?
It was something that had been intriguing me more and more, as I spoke to people who were transgender and learned about their experiences. Sometimes once a subject gets into your head it won’t go away. That was what happened with this book.
- Are you a big reader? If so, what are you reading now?
Reading and books have always been a part of my life; but I have to read such a lot for research, and that takes up many hours of my time. When I read fiction it’s a wide variety – I don’t stick to one genre. At the moment it’s The Bees by Laline Paull.
- Do you have any advice for other aspiring writers?
Write, write, write, and keep writing! It’s the only way. There are no short cuts.